Message from the Director

‌Building on the unique strengths of the St. Kate's - St. Thomas School of Social Work, our exclusive focus on clinical social work practice for the past 25 years ensures our graduates are exceptionally prepared for clinical practice.  Our students are supported by an unrivaled regional network comprised of 20+ full-time clinical social work faculty members, over 200 field education partners, and over 2000 clinically-prepared MSW alumni.

The St. Kate's - St. Thomas School of Social Work embraces a broad definition of clinical social work practice. Our MSW is appropriate for those seeking to practice direct psychotherapy and counseling with individuals, families and groups, as well as for all who wish to employ a fully-informed, diagnostic lens through which to serve the bio-psycho-social-spiritual needs of their clients. Building on the person-in-environment and strengths perspectives at the core of social work practice, our graduates are prepared to:

  • Think critically and diagnostically
  • Develop and implement clinical interventions
  • Evaluate relevant client outcomes
  • Work in multiple settings
  • Engage with diverse populations
  • Integrate a macro perspective in clinical work with individuals, families and small groups

Click here for a description of the St. Kate's - St. Thomas MSW in clinical social work practice mission and goals.

We take our role as educators of clinical social workers seriously. Our field supervision training and field placement processes are nationally recognized; in addition to BSW status, or 400 hours of foundation field placement, our MSW students have 600 hours of clinical field placement hours and take 39 credits of advanced clinical courses. All MSW students complete a clinical research project in collaboration with a doctoral faculty advisor and committee members who bring the perspective of community practitioners; these projects provide real-world research and program evaluation experience and prepare graduates to contribute meaningfully to the profession. Our graduates' pass rates on the Association of Social Work Board's master's licensure exam are well-above the national average and they graduate on-track to meet the 360 clock hours required for LICSW license eligibility in Minnesota.

A distinguishing characteristic of the profession is the sheer variety of practice areas in which clinical social workers are found. Clinical social workers are trained to work with diverse populations and have the flexibility to move between client populations and practice areas throughout their careers.  Our MSW students may choose to develop a specific area of clinical focus through the integration of their elective courses with their clinical field practicum and their clinical research paper. In addition, we now have three Area of Emphasis Scholars programs focused on critical and emerging specializations: Gero Practice, Military Practice, and Practice with Immigrants and Refugees.

We look forward to working with you as you explore a career in clinical social work practice!